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The distribution of volcanism in the Beta-Atla-Themis region of Venus: its relationship to rifting and implications for global tectonic regimes

Airey, M. W., Mather, T. A., Pyle, D. M. and Ghail, R. C. (2017) The distribution of volcanism in the Beta-Atla-Themis region of Venus: its relationship to rifting and implications for global tectonic regimes. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 122 (8). pp. 1626-1649. ISSN 21699097

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/2016JE005205

Abstract/Summary

A new analysis of the spatial relationships between volcanic features and rifts on Venus provides new constraints on models of planetary evolution. We developed a new database of volcanic features for the Beta-Atla-Themis (BAT) region, and used nearest neighbour measurements to determine relationships between different types of volcanic features and the rifts. Nearest neighbour analysis shows that all the dome-type and corona-type sub-populations tend to cluster. Rift associations were inferred from the deviation of a feature's population distribution (as a function of distance from rift) from that of a random population. Dome-type features in general have no discernible relationship with rifts. Most corona type features have a strong association with rifts, with intermediate and large volcanoes also tending to occur close to or on rifts. Shield fields, on the other hand, tend to occur away from rifts. Our new evidence supports classifications of rifts on Venus into different types, possibly by age, with a shift from globally dispersed (more uniform) volcanism towards the more rift-focused distribution, which suggests a shift in tectonic regime. Our observations are consistent with recent models proposing the evolution of Venus from a stagnant lid regime to a subcrustal spreading regime. We also present evidence for a failed rift on Venus and note that this process may be analogous, albeit on a larger scale, to a proposed model for the evolution of the East African Rift system.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:71363
Publisher:Wiley

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